In Depth

British woman deluged with applicants for ‘dream job’ on Greek island looking after cats

Sanctuary has to curtail number of applicants eager to look after 55 rescue cats ‘in Cyclades paradise’

A British woman has been deluged with applicants after posting a job advert which offered people the chance to move to a Greek island and get paid to take care of 55 cats.

Nearly 1,000 Britons “applied for the role after the announcement posted by Greek cat sanctuary owner Joan Bowell on Facebook last week went viral”, says The Daily Telegraph.

Bowell’s inbox is full with applications from hopeful cat caretakers convinced they are the “responsible, reliable, honest, practically inclined” person with a heart of gold she is looking for.

“We were doing a quiet thing on a Greek island - but no more,” Bowell’s husband, Richard, 65, told the Telegraph.

When Bowell first posted the job offer on Facebook on 5 August she was not expecting to be deluged by respondents.

Bowell founded God’s Little People Cat Rescue charity to support the cat sanctuary with donations and started a Facebook page. At first her posts got a handful of likes as she tried to find homes for cats on Syros.

“Then she posted this, it went viral and people have been phoning from all over the world,” her husband said.

The advert stated that to be qualified for the position, located on the “tranquil and quiet” island, applicants must know how to operate a manual car - and must have a love for cats.

Other than that, a veterinary background is recommended but not required and “apart from feeding the cats, the cats will also need heaps of love and attention”.

The job is a long-term commitment of at least six months, but two to three weeks of volunteering is required first, “probably to see how the cats respond to you”, says The Independent.

“From experience, the job is most suitable for someone 45+ years of age, who’s responsible, reliable, honest, practically inclined – and really with a heart of gold! You will at times be expected to trap or handle a feral or non-sociable cat… so cat whispering skills should come natural to you,” concludes the advert.

As job offers go “it’s hard to beat”, says The Guardian. “Office location: island idyll with panoramic view of the Aegean sea in the “small paradise” of Syros, in the Cyclades, south-east Greece. Remuneration: all expenses paid.”

But Bowell has now received so many messages from candidates that she was forced to post a follow-up notice pleading for interested parties to follow her guidelines and “only write if making life better for Greek rescue cats is your burning desire!”

They have drafted five volunteers across Europe to narrow down the 3,000 applications from people offering to take their place – mostly Americans and British nationals – to a pool of 50-100 and hope to appoint someone within the next month for the post that starts in November.

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